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Dean Ryan backs Sam Davies after a controversial clock-in-the-red moment in the latest Dragons defeat

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Dragons out-half Sam Davies has created a social media stir following his Friday night decision to kick the ball dead at Rodney Parade, extinguishing any chance for his team to score the converted try that would have transformed a 29-35 defeat to Leinster into a 36-35 win.

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Dragons had fought back commendably from 15-35 down against the reigning Guinness PRO14 champions to come within a converted score of the visitors to Newport. 

However, rather than mount one final attack from inside the Dragons 22 with the clock in the red, Davies kicked the ball into touch to signal the end of the game and leave Leinster with the win (see highlights video below). 

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The decision by Davies generated much reaction on social media questioning what he had done when there was still the possibility for Dragons to play on and somehow manufacture a game-winning score against an opposition they rarely beat. 

However, despite this negative reaction, Dragons boss Dean Ryan defended his player, calling it the right decision to end the game with the kick rather than launch a counter-attack and continue playing.  

“It was the right decision,” said Ryan in the aftermath to the South Wales Argus. “That was against one of the best running sides in Europe and let’s be honest, if you are sat at home on your couch then you don’t quite understand how heavy that pitch is.

“I don’t think that we were going 80 metres and we are at a stage where a point against Leinster is quite a smart move at the moment, and we have got to go and get some points next week (against Zebre). It was absolutely the right decision otherwise we are just going to cut our own throats, but we could have got to that point earlier in the game and then something might have been on, so that is for us to work on.”

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Ryan’s reflection was at odds, however, with much of the social media reaction as disappointed fans outlined their dissatisfaction that Dragons didn’t at least try and go for the win.  

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